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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Super PACs and Democrats

In Defying the Odds, we discuss campaign finance and campaign technologyThe 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Zach Montellaro at Politico:
JUST SUPER — You get a super PAC! And you get a super PAC! A new super PAC backing Warren called Persist PAC has quickly become one of the top outside spenders in Nevada ahead of Saturday's caucuses, POLITICO's Maggie Severns and Alex Thompson wrote. (Advertising Analytics tracks about $800,000 in TV and radio ads .) A statement from team Warren doesn't entirely wave off the group, after Warren has crusaded against super PACs earlier in the cycle. "Sen. Warren's position hasn't changed. Since day one of this campaign, she has made clear that she thinks all of the candidates should lock arms together and say we don't want super PACs and billionaires to be deciding our Democratic nominee," Warren campaign spokesman Chris Hayden said. (Axios' Margaret Talev and Alexi McCammond first reported details about the super PAC.)
This means that every Democratic candidate falls into one of three categories: A billionaire self-funder, a candidate supported by some outside money — yes, including Sanders, who got air cover from a nurses' union super PAC and general support from the nonprofit he founded, Our Revolution — or Tulsi Gabbard, who appears to fall into neither of the former categories. An interesting detail from The New York Times' Jonathan Martin: EMILY's List, which hasn't endorsed a candidate, gave $250,000 to the new outside groups supporting both Warren and Klobuchar.
Brian Sloydysko at AP:
Many now rue that early days of the primary were dominated by pledges of the sources of money campaigns would reject rather than building a fundraising network to compete with Trump. Along with the Republican National Committee, he has raised more than $525 million for his reelection effort since the start of 2019.
“It was a huge mistake to try to adhere to this level of financial purity. The only person who can do it is Bernie Sanders — no one else can. Barack Obama couldn’t, Hillary Clinton couldn’t and Donald Trump can’t,” said Rufus Gifford a prominent Democratic fundraiser who held high-level posts in both of Obama’s campaigns. “That will be the lesson of this primary — especially if Bernie Sanders wins.”